tv NBC10 Issue NBC June 12, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
by this. so to everyone who is impacted i want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. and that we are a united community, and that what we saw last night does not reflect what we feel in our hearts and our souls here in orange county. and i'm calling on every citizen here in orange county to never forget that we stand together in times of adversity, but we don't just stand together as the city of orlando and orange county, we stand together as a country. we have heard from texas, we have heard from states all across the country wanting to know what they can do to help. when evil like this comes to our community we respond in force. i guarantee you we will do that again. and thank you all for everything that you do to make this such a wonderful place to be. we know it's going to take time to be able to answer the questions of the loved ones and there is nothing, nothing more difficult than waiting to find out the status of the people that you love. please be patient, we are doing our best. thank you.
>> as mayor dyer said, at this point the nightclub pulse has been cleared and deemed safe of any devices. we are in the process of clearing the suspect's vehicle which is a van right outside. and just we ask that people be patient, unfortunately there are many victims inside the club. but like was said, you know, our priority will be on the identification of the victims, notification of the next of kin. i also want to take this opportunity to thank all of the outpouring of law en law enforcement support from as far away as boston and chicago that let us use their resources if needed. and of course great community support from the central florida law enforcement community as well. i also want to commend the heroic and courageous actions of the initial law enforcement officers, and also the heroic
actions of our s.w.a.t. team who rescued 30 possible victims, and brought them to safety. again at this point just patient because unfortunately this tragedy and the amount of bodies that are in there, the amount of victims, it's going to take some time. thank you. we'll answer questions at the end. >> aim sheriff jerry deming, and i join our entire community in offering our sympathy to these families who have lost loved ones. this has been a tragic day for all of us. and in that this is a day of worship in most places in america, we do call upon the members of the clergy to pray for those families, and this community and nation for healing. the last several hours the men and women in law enforcement
have been working diligently to ensure the overall safety of everyone involved. you all have seen most recently where there were members of our hazardous device team the bomb team have been working with the orange county sheriffs office and units from the orlando fire department to make sure that we did not have any secondary type devices or what have you, that were in the crisis site itself. that process has taken an extended period of time to ensure the safety of everyone and so that is why we have not been able to remove all of the victims, if you will, from the crisis site at this point. that process is continuing. we likely have another hour to two of operational necessity to ensure the safety before we can begin that process. but we do appreciate the
collaborative effort amongst all of the different local government, as well as our state and our federal government. we have all come together in unity to address this issue, and on behalf of our entire community, we thank you, the media, for covering these events and this tragedy. thank you very much. >> can you please confirm 50? >> we'll take questions after we are finished with prepared statements. >> hello. the fbi has confirmed the subject involved in this shooting incident. at this time we are making the notifications to the next of kin. so we will have that name to be officially released to you at the next press conference. what i want to put outright now is that as we all know in many situations people come and go to night clubs such as these. if anyone out there attended this nightclub and left before the shooting happened. i would urge you to still call in and come and talk to our
investigators, because you don't know exactly what you may have seen. we appreciate everyone coming forward no matter how small the evidence in your mind may be. we are setting up a family assistance center at the hampton in located at 43 columbia street. we currently have it now at rnc, we are going to go ahead and move it down to the hotel in order to accommodate more family members in an attempt to reunite people with either their loved ones or gather information on people who have not yet been located. >> can you confirm that number again 50? >> 50. >> you mentioned earlier that -- >> i thought that we had one more. >> we have a couple more people that are going to speak and then we'll answer some questions. >> good morning. as many of you are aware, a little after 2:00 this morning we were notified of many victims, gunshot victims as
central florida's only level one trauma center. we activated our mass casualty instant plan. we brought in six trauma surgeons to respond, including one pediatric trauma surgeon. we have spent the morning operating on a number of victims. we continue to operate on them. we have found many of them are critically ill as a result of their injuries. and we are in the process of trying to reunite families as we identify the names of these victi victims. as has been mentioned this will take some time. and we ask for your patience, but we will reunite the families and the victims just as quickly as we can. >> do you need blood donors. >> blood is a wonderful gift. that can be arranged through the local blood banks. don't come to the local hospitals, but you can work through the local blood banking to be able to donate and that would be a tremendous help.
michael cheatum. >> good morning. my name is mohammed, i'm the president senior of the islamic society of florida. i'm here today to stand as a faith leader with our law enforcement community and our city leadership in this hour of horror that was brought upon our city. i've worked with these leaders for over 20 years. i know their caliber, their strength, and their determination to make sure the city is safe, and i call on everybody in the community, anybody who has any information to please call the fbi, share
what you know. it may help answer many unanswered questions. i also call on my fellow faith leaders, jewish, christian, muslim, hindu, whatever faith you follow, please pray for the victims and their families in this hour on this sunday morning. it's supposed to be a beautiful morning, but it is already a very heart breaking morning. and i want to praise the courageous efforts of our opd who risked their lives, put their life on the line. one of the officers, as we heard, was injured, and that is a risk they take every day to protect us. no one could have predicted this. no one could have prepared for it. this could have happened anywhere. it's like a lightning.
so they have done marvelous job to save as many lives after the shooter began shooting and we are glad that the situation is completely under control. there are no other shooters that this person is not known to be connected with a network or other people. so the city residents and the visitors should feel safe. the city is as safe as the best city in the world. i want to also caution many in the media from rushing to judgment, and from, you know, sensati sensationalizing the story. because we do not want this
story to be shifted from the focus that it is. it's a horrible tragedy. we are mourning, we are sad, we are heart broken and it's not really time for any sensational news, just and rushing to judgment. so we should all wait until information, facts come out from the investigators and we will all see what happens, understand it, and stay together, to work together to keep our community strong. i want to thank mayor dyer, mayor jacobs, our city leaders, chief dema, i think many times in the past this has been discussed as the worst
nightmare, and we are sorry to know that it happened to us. we don't wish this on anybody else. and we hope this would be the last of the mass shuootings tha our country has been going through. i think as a nation we need to look at this issue of mass shootings because we just had one too many today. and i think we should do something about it to stop the mass shootings that are happening all the time. thank you. >> that was a press briefing a short time ago in orlando. you were listening to the islamic society of florida. calling for prayer. we heard the same call on this day of worship from the sheriff in orange county. they are asking for this country and the world to pray for orlando today. how did we get here? 2:00 this morning the shooting began outside the pulse
nightclub in south orlando, a very popular gay nightclub. a man walked in, omar mat team, 29-year-old living in port st. lucie. a shooting began with an orlando police officer who engaged the man, setting off a three-hour hostage stand off that ended about 5:00 eastern time in orlando with these sounds. [ gunfire ] that's gunfire you are hearing presumably between the police and mr. mat -- nine police officers were engaged in this swat rescue. one of them was injured when he was hit in the head, saved only
by his kevlar helmet and we are getting a look at this from the orlando police department. orlando police tweeting out the photo saying pulse shooting in which suspect was killed. opd officer was hit. kevlar helmet saved his life. what we know from pete williams is that omar mateen from port is it lucie was radicalized in some way. he was in a database of some kind, not perhaps because of any direct look at him, but because of people he knew perhaps. we are also talking to his father, nbc news reached out and found his dad who said he didn't believe in his opinion that this was about religion. he said he believed because it was his son had such anti-gay
fervor that he killed what is now believed to be 50 people in that place they went to have fun late last night and lost their lives. let's bring in gabe gutierrez he is down in orlando. good morning. >> good morning the magnitude is just sinking in. and the authorities are continuing their method i cinve of the crime scene. they have allowed by stchlt atnders to go loser. 50 dead, 53 injured, and the investigation into a motive is ongoing. now, throughout the morning we have been speaking with many of the witnesses saying it was just a chaotic scene inside that nightclub. many of them did not realize that it was gunshots right away. they thought it was part of the music, part of the show. but quickly many of them dove for cover and talked about how
they went outside and tended to the injured. he said he had recently moved to orlando and this was his first time in that club. here is his description of what happened. >> tell me what happened. >> the music was going, it was just like any other good time. everybody was doing their thing, dancing, drinking. and then you hear just bang, bang, bang, and it is continuous. so at first it sounded like the music. and then after that, you just, i looked over and i saw bodies falling, people screaming, the person next to me was shot, the bl blood splatter. and i fell down and crawled out. and people stomped on me. and the fence fell over. and when i was running i was crouched down. i was zig-zagging just in case, because you could still hear the bullets going off. you have no idea if they were outside, inside, because they started out inside. but the gun -- you -- it still
sounded like it was outside. >> how terrified were you at that point? >> i was terrified. i was in shock, i think, i kind of like looked around me and seeing people screaming the blood, and people laying on the ground. and there was the cops were just starting to get there. there was a couple that were already there, so it was nice to see how quick and responsive people were. because by the time the shots were going off, and i had gotten out, there were officers there. so everybody was -- there was so many people responding. the whole community did. >> when the first gunshots rang out, you thought it was part of the music. >> i was just dancing, and i had taken my first sip of my drink, and i was like, all right, new song. bass, you can feel the bass of it, because it sounded so real. >> and you moved to orlando just a couple of months ago.
>> yeah. >> did you get a chance to see the shooter at all? >> no, i didn't. it happened in the same area, though, in the dance area. >> in the same area. you said you saw one of the people who were hit. you took off your bandana and rendered aid. >> yeah. >> have you ever seen that much blood. >> no, the whole pant leg was drenched in blood and completely wet. and all i could do was like oh, my god, and i wasn't sure if that was the only bullet wound. so me and this other gentleman we were checking the rest of his body to make sure he wasn't hit anywhere else, and we got his name as junior. and i was holding his hand, telling him it was going to be okay. i was trying to be like, he was going to get through this, you will be okay. it's all right. and then paramedics showed up. and that's when they took over. we helped him on the stretcher. >> just a chilling story there from christopher hanson, one of the eyewitnesss on the scene. he still does not know what happened to that person who he tried to help.
the person with the gunshot wound. again, at least 50 people are dead. 53 injured and rushed to local hospitals. many people here wondering what the motive possibly could have been for all this. but the investigation still very active here at the scene behind me within the past few minutes. again, authorities have allowed some members of the media to get just a bit closer to the scene. but throughout the morning they have been going through with a bomb detecting robot clearing the scene, and now realizing that the death toll is much higher than initially thought. >> just staggering to hear witnesses like christopher hanson to tell us what he saw. to hear what he saw, what he heard, what he smelled, what he felt, describing the scene where he saw gunshot victims on the ground and trying to cover their wounds, plug them in some way with a bandana that was on his hand. unthinkable. gabe gutierrez. we'll be back to you shortly.
orlando commissioner patty sheehan. she goes to pulse nightclubs, she's friends with the owner. thank you for stopping with us and taking some time with us. my condolences to you and that entire community down there. have you spoken to your friend, the owner of pulse today? >> i have not talked to barbara yet. i can't imagine what she's going through. it's just been, you know, it's been -- it's been crazy all morning, to be quite honest. i've just really concentrated my efforts this morning and you know, my community, people want to have vi dpchltgils and do th like that. the law enforcement officials right now are working very hard. they have been basically, you know, they are going to be on this 24 hours, and right now we don't need to stretch law enforcement any thinner than they already have. this was a heroic on behalf of the orlando police department. there is officers everywhere here. we have people inside.
it's a horrific scene. it's the largest mass shooting in american history. a horrible thing for orlando to have happen here. but you know, right now it's just a lot. the last thing we need to do is stretch law enforcement anymore. so i'm begging people in my community if you want to do something, please go donate blood. i hear there is lines outside the blood bank are long. i'm delighted to hear that people are reacting in a way to help others. we are a giving good people here in orlando. this is a horrible tragedy that happened to our community. >> we had a live report from one of the blood banks, lines behind the block your city responding to that call. do you know if your friend barbara, the owner of pulse was there last night and is she safe? >> i don't know if she was there. i haven't even had a chance to talk to her. i'm hoping -- this is the difficult thing for me, i'm wearing two hats now. i'm a city commissioner, but these are also my friends, and i really haven't had a chance to deal with the personal part of
it yet. and i'm worried sick about them. you know, i mean, but for the grace of god, i could have been in that club last night. it's a club that i go to. it's a nice club, and you know, it's just a horrible, horrible situation. >> so you go to pulse all the time, tell me what kind of places it. what kind of crowd would have been in there last night. >> it was latin night. you know, of course i tend to go for the happy hour, i'm a little older now. but it's a nice club. it's really nice inside. you know, it's frequented not just by members of the gay community, it's a very -- it's a lovely club and it's horrible to think that something this awful would happen. it's such a nice place. >> have you spoken, commissioner, to anyone who was able to escape pulse last night? >> i have not. like i say, it's a little chaotic right now. what has happened that they have taken the -- they've taken the -- a lot of the people who
were witnesses over to opd to interview them. this is a large crime scene. like i said, we still have people inside. there is just a lot going on right now. so you know, it may seem like it's slow for information to get out, but i mean, i spent the first hour this morning just drafting a statement to get people to realize that the best thing they could do was to donate blood instead of having a mass situation where we are putting people possibly even in more harm's way. that's the last thing we need to do right now. b but i'm telling people, please go give blood and pray for the victims, and a lot of these folks, i mean, they don't even know -- they don't even know if their family members are among the dead yet. this is a horrible, horrible situation. >> have you heard anything in terms of the notification of next of kin. are you aware of anyone who lost someone at pulse last night? >> they have not made the notifications yet. >> orlando city commissioner, we
are grateful for your time. the country is thinking about your city and your community in particular this morning. thank you. >> like i say one more thing, if anyone needs grief counseling or services, the gay community center on mills is available to do that. they have grief counselors right now. if anybody needs help in orlando, please go to the gay, lesbian bisexual community center at 942 north mills avenue. >> let's listen in to senator bill nelson of florida. he's holding a press conference as we speak. >> our share of violence in two successive nights we've had killings. the singer performing live at the plaza shot down two nights ago and this horrific act. so what is happening to our country? we are going to have to dig down deep and ask ourselves who we are as a people.
we've got to think of ourselves as the common denominator of americans, not off on some cause. that is what we've got to explore deep inside at this point. that's the information that i have for you. i'll share more with you as i get it. >> based on -- [ inaudible ] >> i'll get that information for you once i have confirmed it all. but i'm just passing along to you the information that i have from the credible sources as well as directly -- that information is not from the fbi. let me make that distinction. that is from intelligence committee staff. but the fbi information for senator feinstein and myself
from mike feinbach. >> that's senator bill nelson of the state of florida addressing the press. we want to give you some reaction from both presumptive nominees in this presidential race. donald trump has tweeted really bad shooting in orlando, police investigating possible terrorism. many people dead and wounded. secretary hillary clinton tweeting woke up to hear the devastating news from florida as we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected with this horrific act. let's bring in nbc's kelly o'donnell. our focus is on the victims and their families. there are 50 people dead in that nightclub shooting. the issues at the center of this we are learning now, guns and terrorism will be front and center in this presidential
election. >> donald trump has also through his twitter account added a little more commentary on this incident saying horrific incident in florida. praying for all the victims and their families. when will this stop? when will we get tough, smart and vigilant? that is an important tone shift. earlier he had talked about the investigation but not respect for those involved. he took to that form of social media to also criticize hillary clinton. typical typically, and so few things aren't typical when there is a tragedy of this magnitude, politics get sort of put to the side. we have not seen that entirely from donald trump. that updated new comment from him seems to go at an acknowledgement that he need today at least in some way express concern for those victims and to talk about it in a slightly different way. we of course are hearing from
many lawmakers from around the country. so many of them look at this through multiple lenses, first wanting to get the facts from the intelligence community, the fbi and other investigative entities that are on the ground that can add to this. but also knowing there is always a political dynamic to this with respect to issues that relate to guns, to how the country accomplicpolice polices with regards to terrorist threats. and once more aspects are known in terms of defining a moment, there is that political fallout. then you have what is a florida-based situation here. so we have heard from lawmakers there. and we've also heard some commentary about the issue of providing blood to those victims we know at least 53 have been hospitalized and need in orlando for additional blood supply for those who are receiving treatment, surgery and so forth. and congressman talking about the fact that there is this need
and he expressing concern about a ban on gay men donating blood. that goes back to the days of h hiv aids. should that be revisited. hillary clinton commented in more personal terms waking up to the horror of this and wanting to know more about what would happen, speaking out to the victims. i can also tell you that vice president joe biden who had planned to go to florida today for a political event, for the head of the democratic national committee, but also running for reelection herself for her seat in the house in florida, that has been put on hold. and the vice president will return to washington tonight. while we know that the president has been advised and updated by his homeland security advisorad there has been no public statement from the president yet. we don't know if this will rise to that at some point today when additional facts are known. and of course there is this
sense of what do the candidates do in terms of adjustments to their schedule, we were just beginning what would be a very vigorous schedule for hillary clinton hitting five battle ground states in the next few days. it raises the question, will she feel an obligation to perhaps pause. that often also happens in circumstances like this. but we've also heard from the gun rights community in terms of those concerned about making this an issue of terrorism, perhaps mental health, which has been a part of other instances, and also those who were advocating for greater gun control. when we hear from for example a connecticut senator chris murphy milwaukeeing abo talking about how guns are concerned in violence. >> a muted response from. the more recent one he asked, when will we get tough, smart and vigilant. in the past used it to get into national security. if you are just joining us as
come up on the top of the hour. the united states of america has now experienced the worst mass shooting in its history. at least 50 people are dead, so. it took place at pulse nightclub in orlando, a popular gay nightclub. the shooting began at about 2:00 local time, eventually three hours later at 5:00 or sometime thereafter a gun fight ensued when the s.w.a.t. team stormed the shooter. the gunman has been identified as omar mateen born in 1986 in new york. lived in port st. lucie, florida. authorities are investigating whether or not he had radical influences. officials do say this is being investigated as a domestic act of terror. pete williams has been all over this story for us this morning. pete, i understand you have some new information. >> well, a couple of things, willie. one is there had been some suggestion early on that mateen, the gunman, had been explosives with him when he entered the nightclub.